Thursday, December 16, 2010

Points from yesterday's "tweetathon"

Except for the one incident involving a large number of rabbits, these are selected from the events which had outcomes recorded during the session.

The codes N, SE, E, SSW refer to the area of the country where the incident happened. We are in E [East] region. I've automatically converted the entries to sentence case to make them a bit easier to read than the feed copy/pasted from the NCC's feed.

On Thursday 16th December 2010, @RSPCA_Frontline said:

**Update** re: N: dog. Shivering, not weight bearing on back rt leg, found tied to fence with metal chain . Noticed at 07:20. (15/12)

Officer attended. Dog collected. In poor condition. No trace/evidence of who abandoned dog. Dog taken to animal home for treatment and boarding ahead of rehoming if no trace of owner. 

**update** re; SE: dog. Was hit by a car. Blood on face, dragging a leg. Happened 10-15mins ago. Owner unknown. (15/12)

Officer attended. Dog collected and owner traced and advised dog now at rspca hospital receiving treatment for injuries.

**update** re: dog. On hard shoulder hit by car. Excessive bleeding on a front leg. Traffic officer needs assistance as unable 2 transport 2 vets (15/12)

Officer attended. Dog microchipped. Reunited with owner at vets for treatment.

**update** re: SSW: cat. Found at school. V old and heavily matted coat.

Officer attended. Cat collected and taken to rspca establishment for care.

**update** re: N: cat.dragging back legs. Not known what has happened to cat. Found in street this confined in callers bathroom.

Vets initially refused to treat cat without payment.

Officer spoke to vets and they will now accept cat if RSPCA pays. Cat has been taken to vets for treatment by caller. If cat survives, will then be collected by RSPCA to try and find original owner or rehome.  

**update** re; N: cat. Owner moved out 1 week ago. Cat outside very thin and shaking


Officer attended. Cat collected and taken to vets for examination and treatment. Is very thin and weak. Cruelty case/investigation commenced.

[warning – this one is quite shocking. There is much more detail on the actual allegation but too much and too graphic for me to post here]

N: rabbits. Dying. Some of the rabbits are full of disease and very ill. No vet treatment. Rabbits living in horrendeous filth cages & cages 7 inches deep in faeces, no water in any of the cages and no food. Confined in tiny. Supplies pet shops with rabbits.

**Update** re: N: dog.unable 2 put 1 back leg 2 ground.leg broken? Crying a lot.found lst nite on field nearby. Dog warden refuses to collect due to injury.

Officer attended.

Male entire staff bull terrier. No collar. No ID. Limping on back left leg. Taken to local vets. 

These are only a very small selection of the total number of incidents (1195 on the 16th) allocated by the control centre to frontline staff. These in turn are only about a third of the total number of calls answered by the NCC during the day. Many of the remaining two thirds will have been resolved by advice, a request for the caller to take the animal direct to a vet, or referral to the caller's local branch, but inevitably there is a degree of rationing by apparent seriousness of the incident. Callers requesting collection of healthy, but apparently stray cats will normally be told we don't believe it is in the cat's best interest to remove it from an environment where it is thriving. Finders of healthy, uninjured stray dogs will be referred to Local Authority dog wardens.

Most incidents which result in an injured or neglected animal being collected will eventually mean a call on local branch funds to pay for continuing veterinary treatment or for the animal to be cared for until it can be rehomed.

An incident involving large numbers of animals (like the rabbits mentioned above) will normally be coped with by several branches working together to share the animals out among their available foster carers and boarding facilities.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Follow the RSPCA Control Centre online today

From 9 am until 5 pm today the RSPCA's National Control Centre tasking system will be shadowed on Twitter, with every incident allocated to frontline staff being "tweeted" online. You can view the calls by following @RSPCA_Frontline on Twitter (or just click the link to see all the calls so far).

On average someone in England and Wales calls the RSPCA’s cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 every 30 seconds. The National Control Centre received more than 1.25 million phone calls last year and responds to around 1,000 incidents a day. (This is in addition to calls made to the individual branches).

Inspector Tony Woodley, communications and liaison officer for the RSPCA inspectorate, set up the RSPCA_Frontline Twitter feed as he wanted to publicise the work of the RSPCA’s 288 inspectors, 119 animal welfare officers and 74 animal collection officers. 

The idea of using Twitter to give readers a realistic impression of the sheer scale of workload coming in was first thought of by Greater Manchester Police.

I hope the exercise will go some way towards combatting the attitude that, if the RSPCA doesn't succeed in solving all calls to deal with animal related problems, the right thing to do is to hammer us by reducing donations until we can't deal with any of them.

Please also remember that, although the frontline staff deal with the immediate incidents, they depend on us, the branches, to provide subsequent continuing care. It's also essential that branch services are available for those callers who just need to be directed to a source of low-cost veterinary help.

If you would like to make a donation towards the continuing work of RSPCA Cambridge, please follow the link to our page on the JustGiving fundraising site.